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ColomboSri Lanka

Colonial charm and Buddhist spirituality mix with beachside entertainment, bustling shopping districts and a love of cricket in Sri Lanka’s coastal capital. 

Colombo is a showcase of Sri Lanka’s Asian and European heritage. It’s where the fast-paced chaos of the continent’s cities meets a lingering colonial ambiance and contemporary fashion. In Colombo, ancient religious shrines stand next to churches, and skyscrapers rise above time-honored shops. Pretty parks are a reminder of Colombo’s “Garden City of the East” nickname while beaches offer an introduction to the island’s 833-mile (1,340-kilometer) coastline.

Discover the spiritual serenity that exists amid the mayhem of the city streets at Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple and lakeside Seema Malaka Buddhist Temple. The contrasting Gothic Old Town Hall and neoclassical New Town Hall sit on the edge of gorgeous Viharamahadevi Park. Visit European-influenced churches, including the Dutch-built Wolvendaal Church, Portuguese St. Anthony’s Church and Scottish St. Andrew’s Church.

Browse art collections that date back to the 4th century B.C. at Colombo National Museum and learn about Dutch rule at the Dutch Period Museum. Ape Gama is an open-air folk museum that brings to life the customs of a Sri Lankan village via mock rural scenes. The elaborately decorated Independence Memorial Hall commemorates the nation breaking free from the British Empire.

Pettah is Colombo’s bustling shopping quarter, famous for traditional shops and markets such as Pettah Floating Market. Go to Arcade Independence Square and Crescat Boulevard for brand-name and upmarket fashion. Witness the city’s passion for cricket while attending a match at Premadasa International Cricket Stadium. Or, play a round of 18 holes at the immaculate Royal Colombo Golf Club.

Watch the sunset and snack on spicy street food during an evening stroll on Galle Green Face Promenade. Find an aquarium, beer garden and outdoor food court at Diyatha Uyana waterfront park. Mount Lavinia Beach boasts golden sand and chic seafront bars. Spot exotic animals at Dehiwala National Zoo and ride waterslides at Leisure World.

Reach Colombo by flying to Bandaranaike International Airport, located an hour’s drive from the city center. Get around the city via low-cost buses, trains and tuk-tuks.

Where to stay in Colombo

Kollupitiya, Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka

Kollupitiya

4/5Very Good!(118 area reviews)

The ample dining options and beautiful seaside views are top of the list for many visitors to Kollupitiya. A stop by Bellagio Casino or Galle Face Beach might round out your trip.

Kollupitiya
Colombo which includes a high-rise building, general coastal views and a city

Cinnamon Gardens

4.5/5Wonderful!(3 area reviews)

You'll enjoy the museums and gardens in Cinnamon Gardens. You might want to make time for a stop at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall or Colombo Town Hall.

Cinnamon Gardens
Bambalapitiya, Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka

Bambalapitiya

If you're spending some time in Bambalapitiya, Bellagio Casino and Majestic City are top sights worth seeing.

Bambalapitiya
Fort, Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka

Fort

4/5Very Good!(36 area reviews)

Fort is noteworthy for its historical sites, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Bally's Casino and Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct.

Fort
Kirula, Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka

Kirula

While Kirula isn't home to many top sights, Bellagio Casino and Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall are some notable places to visit nearby.

Kirula
Colombo 02, Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka

Colombo 02

4/5Very Good!(2 area reviews)

While visiting Colombo 02, you might make a stop by sights like Beira Lake and Gangaramaya Temple.

Colombo 02

Top hotels in Colombo

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Marino Beach Colombo
Marino Beach Colombo
5 out of 5
590 Marine Drive, Colombo, WP
The price is £52 per night from 30 Sep to 1 Oct

Located in Kollupitiya, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Marino Mall and Bellagio Casino. Galle Face Beach and Galle Face Green are also within ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (364 reviews)

"There was absolutely nothing to moan about we were treated so well doors opened for you to chairs pulled out made us feel really special each and everyone of the staff your top class x"…"

Reviewed on 1 Apr 2020

Marino Beach Colombo
Galadari Hotel
Galadari Hotel
4 out of 5
64, Lotus Road, Colombo
The price is £31 per night from 4 Oct to 5 Oct

Located in Fort, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Galle Face Green and Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct. Dutch Period Museum and Colombo City Centre ...

3.5/5Good! (153 reviews)

"It was done as requested, good communication, old but gold"…"

Reviewed on 31 Jul 2020

Galadari Hotel
Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo
Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo
5 out of 5
1 Centre Road, Galle Face, Colombo
The price is £141 per night from 26 Sep to 27 Sep

Located in Kollupitiya, this luxury hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Galle Face Green, Colombo City Centre and Gangaramaya Temple. Bally's Casino and Pettah Market ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (212 reviews)
Loved my stay at Shangrilla

"We like the friendly staff, comfortable room and the beautiful view. We were v happy with tight security 24/7. Toilet shower area tend to accumulate water. Perhaps during civil work, sloping was not done properly"…"

Reviewed on 27 Feb 2020

Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo

Top Holiday Rentals in Colombo

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Ocean Edge Suites & Hotel Colombo
Ocean Edge Suites & Hotel Colombo
4 out of 5
Marine Drive (Kollupitiya), 10th Lane, No.24, Colombo

Located in Kollupitiya, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Marino Mall and Bellagio Casino. Galle Face Green and Galle Face Beach are also within ...

3.4/5 (79 reviews)
Find a better alternative!

"The hotel is definitely overpriced! Cleanliness lacks. basic amenities like faulty air con was a put off! However, mr tushaar was helpful to move us to a better room quickly. There were dead cockroaches here and there. Though the lobby is renovated, poor flooring and dirty worn out rugs in the room ..."…"

Reviewed on 18 Jan 2020

Ocean Edge Suites & Hotel Colombo
Go Outdoors Motor Home - Caravan Park
Go Outdoors Motor Home - Caravan Park
2 out of 5
82/1A, Stratford Avenue, Colombo 06, Colombo

Located in Wellawatte, this campsite is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Park Hospital and within 3 miles (5 km) of Mount Lavinia Beach and Bellagio Casino. New Delmon Hospital ...

Go Outdoors Motor Home - Caravan Park
Global Towers Hotel & Apartments
Global Towers Hotel & Apartments
4 out of 5
No.11 Station Avenue, (Colombo Plan Road), Colombo
The price is £30 per night from 7 Oct to 8 Oct

Located in Wellawatte, this aparthotel is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) from New Delmon Hospital and within 3 miles (5 km) of Bellagio Casino and Mount Lavinia Beach. Raux ...

3.6/5Good! (122 reviews)

"it was good"…"

Reviewed on 20 Mar 2020

Global Towers Hotel & Apartments

Popular places to visit in Colombo

Galle Face Green
Image for Galle Face Green

Galle Face Green

4/5(61 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors with a trip to Galle Face Green, a popular green space in Colombo 03. Wander the area's beautiful beaches or simply enjoy one of its top-notch restaurants.

Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall
Image for Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall

Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall

4/5(5 reviews)

Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall is just one of the places to see in Thimbirigasyaya, so why not enjoy the other things to explore during your travels? Stroll along the seaside in this culturally rich area or visit its top-notch restaurants.

Gangaramaya Temple
Image for Gangaramaya Temple

Gangaramaya Temple

4/5(23 reviews)

Find out about the history of Colombo when you spend time at Gangaramaya Temple. Wander through the seaside and beautiful beaches in this culturally rich area.

Top things to do in Colombo

Private Customizable Colombo Sightseeing Tour
Image for Private Customizable Colombo Sightseeing Tour

Private Customizable Colombo Sightseeing Tour

£24
Per adult
82% of travellers recommend
Private Overnight Luxury Leopard Safari - Yala National Park
Image for Private Overnight Luxury Leopard Safari - Yala National Park

Private Overnight Luxury Leopard Safari - Yala National Park

£707
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Muthurajawela Wetland Day Tour by Tuk-Tuk
Image for Muthurajawela Wetland Day Tour by Tuk-Tuk

Muthurajawela Wetland Day Tour by Tuk-Tuk

£55
Per adult
2-Day All-Inclusive Kandy And Nuwara Eliya Tour
Image for 2-Day All-Inclusive Kandy And Nuwara Eliya Tour

2-Day All-Inclusive Kandy And Nuwara Eliya Tour

£416
Per adult
All-Inclusive Lagoon Escapes Fishy Affair - Negombo Day Trip
Image for All-Inclusive Lagoon Escapes Fishy Affair - Negombo Day Trip

All-Inclusive Lagoon Escapes Fishy Affair - Negombo Day Trip

£126
Per adult
Colombo City tour by Tuk-Tuk
Image for Colombo City tour by Tuk-Tuk

Colombo City tour by Tuk-Tuk

£67
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend

Reviews of Colombo

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
49
5 - Excellent 37.404580152671755%
4 - Good
57
4 - Good 43.51145038167939%
3 - Okay
22
3 - Okay 16.793893129770993%
2 - Disappointing
2
2 - Disappointing 1.5267175572519085%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.7633587786259542%

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

15 Mar 2020

Big, bustling city. Get out of it to see the rest of the country.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

26 Feb 2020

A great city to explore and would recommend people go there before it gets too westernised!!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

30 Jan 2020

Vibrant and very busy !!!!!!!!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

30 Jan 2020

Very clean city , litter free, good roads , disciplined traffic , people friendly and coutreous

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

26 Jan 2020

I regularly visit Sri lanka and Colombo so am familier with the country.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

25 Jan 2020

Beware of the jewellery shop opposite this hotel.

Cities near Colombo